Another legislative session coming up, some more pro-employee legislation that will not pass. But here’s what some Florida Democrats (okay, I didn’t check them all, but c’mon, what are the odds that any of the co-sponsors of any pro-employee laws are Republicans?) are trying to pass in 2016 to help Florida employees:
$15 minimum wage: SB 6 and HB 109 would raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15/hour
ERA: SCR 74 and HCR 8001 would ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Better late than never.
Sexual Orientation: SB 120 and HB 45would add sexual orientation and gender identity to prohibited categories of discrimination in the workplace.
Social Media Privacy: SB 186 would prohibit employers from demanding your social media passwords.
Unemployment and Domestic Violence: SB 188 protects employees who leave or lose jobs due to domestic violence from being disqualified for unemployment benefits.
Paid Sick Leave: SB 294 and HB 205 would require state and local governments with at least 9 employees to provide paid sick leave to employees. Why only government employers? I'm really not sure that's what the sponsors meant to do, but that's what it says employers are.
Paid Family Leave: SB 384 and HB 603 would require employers to provide paid leave similar to FMLA for birth or adoption of a child and care in the first year, but it applies to employees who work at least 20 hours a week, applies to employers with at least 15 employees, and would permit up to 6 weeks of protected leave. Creates a rebuttable presumption that any demotion or discharge taken within 90 days against an employee who takes leave is a violation.
Ban the Box: SB 448 and HB 353 would prohibit employers from asking about criminal history in initial employment applications.
If you support any of these bills, start calling and writing your legislators now. Especially the Republicans. If any of these proposed laws get overwhelming support, they may just have a chance. My prediction: DOA.
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